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Austral Paciifc's 2006 Results

2 Apr 2007

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd has now filed its annual comparative audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. The financial statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis, annual information form, reserves statement and report and independent evaluator's report on reserves (all as required
under National Instruments 51-101 and 51-102 (Canada)) are now available for review on the Company's website and via the SEDAR (Canada) and EDGAR (US) securities disclosure filings sites, which can be accessed through www.austral-pacific.com, www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm respectively.

Note: all amounts are expressed in US$

Financial Results
The net loss for the year was $13.4 million ($0.57per common share) compared with the restated loss for 2005 of $5.7 million ($0.30 per common share). The major portion of
the movement from the prior year reflects the increased level of exploration activity undertaken by the company during 2006. Commencing in the year ended December 31, 2006
the Company changed the manner in which it accounts for exploration activities by adopting the "successful efforts"
basis of accounting. The accounting impact of adopting this basis is that all exploration costs are written off unless the expenditure results in the recognition of Proven Reserves within 12 months of the expenditure having been incurred. The previous accounting policy was to use the "full cost" method whereby exploration expenditure was capitalised and not written off
until the well or permit was abandoned.

Oil Reserves
An independent assessment has assigned total Proven Undeveloped Reserves of 1.643 million barrels oil equivalent (Austral share 69.5% or 1.142 million barrels oil equivalent) to the Cheal field. This is a 3.4% increase
on 2005 levels. The pre tax value at a 10% discount factor of the Proven and Probable reserves is $38 million.

Financial position
The Company's asset portfolio and financial position has advanced in several areas:

  • In December 2006 the Company acquired the shares of Arrowhead Energy Limited which holds interests in the permits over the Cheal and Kahili fields, increasing the Company's interests in those fields from 36.5% to 69.5% and 60% to 85% respectively.
  • In December 2006 the Company secured a $23 million loan facility to fund the acquisition of Arrowhead Energy Limited and the development of the Cheal field. Of this amount $15.7 million has been drawn down.
  • In October 2006 the Company raised $6.5 million by the issue of 5 million shares


Cash and cash equivalents of $7.1 million were held at 31 December 2006 (2005 $15.3million).

Operations
Development of the Cheal field commenced in July 2006. The construction plan is proceeding as planned and following commissioning of the plant in late 2Q 2007 a production rate of 1,900 barrels of oil per day is projected to be achieved by 4Q 2007.

The Douglas-1 exploration well in Papua New Guinea was drilled during 2Q 2006. The well was determined to be a gas
discovery but is suspended pending further analysis. Commercialisation studies have resulted in the Company signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Alcan South Pacific to investigate the supply of natural gas to the Gove Refinery in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Results of flow testing of the McKee sands in Cardiff-2, undertaken during 2006, demonstrated sufficient commerciality to secure a mining permit. Current simulation
studies will determine the form of further testing to be carried out in the second half of 2007 on the deeper K3E zone in which the majority of the gas/condensate resource is mapped.

Looking Forward
During 2007 the Company has plans to progress the following
programmes:

  • Completion of the development of the Cheal field
  • Drilling of Kahili-2
  • Conduct further testing of the Cardiff field
  • In PNG progress a programme to prove up the Douglas-1 discovery, and drill appraisal wells, Douglas-2 and Puk Puk
  • Continuation of the exploration programme in Taranaki


David Newman, Chairman of Austral, commenting on 2006 stated "Last year marked a number of significant changes for the company as we advanced towards our near term goal of sustainable oil and gas production. We now have a solid understanding of our asset base and have focussed on increasing our interests in strategic properties while looking for complementary acquisitions. We were able to leverage our assets with a credit line in order to minimise
shareholder dilution and we did so with confidence in the outlook for energy. We have our challenges managing the transition to emerging producer status, and we will need to recruit senior management. However, we know that 2007 is filled with promise for Austral".

$3.25 Million financing
Austral has reached agreement with a group of accredited investors in New Zealand to privately place 2.5 million ordinary shares at a price of $1.30 per share. Substantially all the shares were subscribed for by existing shareholders of the Company including Wellington based Infratil Limited. The proceeds will be used in connection with the Cheal field development and for working
capital purposes. The placement is subject to regulatory approvals expected in the ordinary course. The shares will not be offered or sold in the United States and will not be registered under the 1933 Securities Act (US). The shares will be subject to a four month resale restriction in Canada.

Web site: www.austral-pacific.com
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